The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Graduate Level Courses

Graduate Courses

Upper-division students, who are classified as seniors and have completed core curriculum requirements, may petition the undergraduate associate dean and appropriate graduate advisor/program director to take graduate courses.

If approved, these graduate courses can be applied toward satisfying bachelor’s degree requirements or can be designated for future application toward a graduate degree or certificate requirement at
UT Dallas. You must declare at the time of registration for the class how each approved course is to be applied. Once applied, the options cannot be changed.

There are several options to take graduate level courses.

Graduate Courses Applied Toward an Undergraduate Degree

Up to 12 semester credit hours of graduate work taken as an undergraduate may be used for completing any baccalaureate degree at UT Dallas; this is sometimes called “Option A”. Pass/Fail grading for graduate courses will be permitted only in this category but must be approved by the instructor prior to the start of class.

To take a graduate course you must obtain approval from the instructor, graduate program director and the undergraduate associate dean by completing the petition form.

Fast Track

The Fast-Track option enables qualified senior undergraduate students to include master’s level courses in their bachelor’s degree plans as they work toward a master’s degree at UT Dallas. Admission into a Fast-Track program is open to senior undergraduate students with 90 or more earned hours, of which at least 36 must be completed hours in the core curriculum.

Application Deadlines

Entry in the Summer/Fall Semester: March 15th

Entry in the Spring Semester:
October 15th

In the Jonsson School, students can pursue graduate degrees in biomedical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering and systems engineering and management.

The Fast-Track program is designed to accelerate a student’s education so that both BS and MS degrees can be earned in approximately five years of full-time study.

Choice of Graduate Degree >>

Commonly, a Fast-Track student will continue studies in the corresponding major at the graduate level. An advantage of continuing with the same major is that the master’s level courses a Fast-Track student takes are more likely to fit well into both the bachelor’s and the master’s degree requirements. A Fast-Track student must choose master’s level courses that satisfy the requirements of the bachelor’s degree and those of the intended master’s degree.

Cross tracking is when a Fast-Track student chooses a major other than their current undergraduate degree program. A cross-tracking student should select master’s level courses from the list of prerequisite and core courses for the intended master’s degree requirements. A Fast-Track student would use these master’s level courses towards guided or free electives in the current bachelor’s degree requirements.

A Fast-Track student may only fast track into a single master’s level program.

Admissions Requirements, Application Forms and Program Contact(s) >>

Petition Form >>

Each Semester you will complete a petition to take graduate courses. Students who are in the Fast Tack form as “Option B” use this form.

Prior to matriculation into the MS degree program (in the semester before), you must also obtain the signature of the graduate associate dean.

Guide to completing the form

Remaining in the Fast-Track Program >>

In order to remain in good standing, a Fast-Track student must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.000 in both undergraduate and graduate careers (i.e. a “B” average in both graduate and undergraduate classes).
  2. Satisfy all program requirements while maintaining good academic standing.
  3. Students may not repeat a single master’s level course more than one time. Students may repeat only three master’s level courses a maximum of one time for up to three courses, including withdrawals. All attempted coursework including withdrawals and repeats will be included in a student’s graduate record and transcript.
  4. A student may take up to a maximum of 15 semester credit hours (SCH) in total at the master’s level. For example, if an undergraduate student chooses to take nine graduate semester credit hours reserved for application toward their graduate degree, the undergraduate student can take only six SCH at the master’s level in the Fast-Track option. Withdrawals and repeated coursework will also be included in the 15 SCH maximum.

If, at any time, a Fast-Track student fails to satisfy these requirements, the Fast-Track student will be withdrawn from the Fast-Track program. Once withdrawn from Fast-Track program, any previously completed graduate coursework may only apply toward undergraduate degree requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions >>

When should I apply?

You must be a senior to take graduate courses (i.e. have passed >90 SCH). A good rule of thumb for engineering majors is to apply the semester before you take Senior Design I. For computer science and software engineering majors you should apply either the semester before the capstone project or two semesters before.

How many graduate courses should I take to graduate with a MS in one extra year?

In engineering and computer science most MS degree programs are 33 SCH or 11 graduate classes. Typically, a full-time graduate student takes three graduate classes per long semester. This means that to graduate with an MS in two semesters you need to take five graduate courses as an undergraduate. Similarly, if you wish to graduate with a MS degree in three semesters then you need to take three graduate courses as an undergraduate.

This sounds great but I’m not confident I can take graduate classes as an undergraduate. Do I have other options to apply to the MS programs in engineering and computer science

Yes! As a student who is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at UT Dallas you can apply to MS programs via the UT Dallas Quick Admit.